First look: “Les Mis” on the big screen

Fans of the blockbuster musical — you know who you are — will appreciate these shots from the Daily Mail, with the first glimpses of Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his nemesis Javert. 

Others in the cast include Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers. Best casting news: Colm Wilkinson makes a cameo as the Bishop of Digne who inspires Valjean’s conversion.

The movie musical opens in December.  I really hope they don’t screw this up.


  1. I hope they don’t screw it up either. But I can’t see Russel Crow as Javert or singing. In fact most of that cast seems out of character, though when it comes to pop culture I can’t claim a high level of knowledge.

  2. Katie Angel says:

    I agree – I still remember ushering for it the first time it came to town – the theater was SRO so George and I stood for over three hours in the back of the theater watching it — with me in 3″ heels! I am a bit concerned about their casting of Crowe and Hathaway but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  3. I think Russell Crowe can sing, but if not it wouldn’t be the first time movie musicals dubbed voices for the songs. Marni Nixon sang for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Gypsy, Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, and even Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It’s unfortunate, but film is about the look, and the musical numbers are done to playback anyway. I kind of enjoy the irony of bad boy Russell Crowe playing the model of rectitude.

    I have been a diehard Les Miz fan since it opened in the US. Saw it first on Broadway with the bishop members of the USCCB Communications Committee, one of whom remarked at intermission how refreshing it was to see a bishop as the good guy!

  4. Russell Crowe is pretty good – a country-ish sound with a soft edge.

    Former bands were “Roman Antix” (80s) and “30 Odd Foot of Grunts” (92). Current band is “The Ordinary Fear of God” and started as a collaboration with Alan Doyle, a Canadian musician and actor, best known for his work as one of the lead singers of Celtic band Great Big Sea.

    I have high hopes for this project!

    God bless

  5. Yes, but who will play Eponine? That’s the real question! :) I only got to see Les Mis once on Broadway, but it only took once for it to become my favorite. Just fantastic music.

  6. Katie Angel says:

    Samantha Barks

  7. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    I’m heartened by the fact that the Executive Producer is Cameron Macintosh, who has always been very proprietary and protective of this piece, and is known in theatrical circles as something of a control freak.

    Does anyone else see echoes of Jim Caviezal’s Jesus in that picture of Hugh Jackman?

  8. That picture of Jackman is the spitting image of the illustration in Victor Hugh’s novel. Jackman tweeted an official photo on his Twitter account, and today he tweeted a photo all shaved eating a burger and getting back to carbs LOL – I guess the prisoner scenes are done.!/RealHughJackman

  9. Correction to the above – Victor “Hugo”, of course, not “Hugh” LOL.

  10. I’m so excited!!! I went to see Les Mis on Broadway ten years ago just before it closed. I have high hopes for this version…

  11. Hathaway can sing. She sang on some award show and I was amazed at her voice. Not sure about the others. I am looking forward to it. Les Miz is one of my favorites and the story of redemption is wonderful.

  12. The role of Eponine is being played by Samantha Barks. She played the role in the 25th Anniversary Concert.

    Taylor Swift was offered the role originally but obviously did not end up doing it.

  13. The musical “numbers” are non-existent, since the entire work is sung; and the actors did not sing to playback, they all sang live, while being filmed. Hathaway is fantastic, both acting and vocally; Jackman is also terrific – not perfect on everything (“Bring Him Home” seemed a little high for him…), but very, very good, which I almost like better, because it seems more “real”. Crowe is alright – a little on the wooden side, and not the best vocalist, but passable. The real revelation to me is Eddie Redmayne as Marius, someone I hadn’t seen or heard a lot of/about, but he steals the second half of the movie; “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” was never a song I’d paid a lot of attention to in live performances, but there’s no ignoring Redmayne’s version; beautiful voice, and his acting is top-notch. I’ve seen the film 3 times and can’t wait to get back to see it again!

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